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Hidden Costs of Running Parallel Accounting Systems

Lonely Iceberg-598142-editedAfter months of meetings and detailed presentations, your proposal for an upgrade to your company’s accounting system has been accepted.  You must now plan the conversion process to minimize costs and operational downtime.  Running parallel systems during conversions is popular with IT.  The effort is perceived as a lower risk conversion method compared to direct changeover.  However, there are some extra costs and hidden disadvantages to running parallel systems that you and your colleagues should know about.   

Higher Costs 

A major inefficiency with running parallel accounting systems is higher labor costs. Accounting technicians must enter data twice for new projects. They also must make changes and updates to existing initiatives in both systems while the conversion takes place. Their managers must monitor and review data in two systems as well. Costly temporary workers, who have special skills and clearances, may have to be hired to keep up with mission critical tasks. 

Longer Duration to Complete Tasks

New workers usually need extra time to get up to speed on projects even if they’re highly skilled; this could cause schedule delays. If your organization chooses not to hire temporary workers, it will take longer for your existing workforce to accomplish the same amount of work in two systems than it would in one system. Learning a new platform while doing double work could impact productivity for temporary or permanent accounting workers.                            

Greater Probability of Errors

Operating parallel systems increases the complexity of accounting tasks.  When this happens, there is a greater chance that accounting technicians will make errors. Workers must then find the mistake and make corrections so that their data is identical in both systems. This lowers productivity and can temporarily impact morale, as frustration builds. 

Additional Maintenance

Your IT staff already handles a fair amount of trouble tickets and help desk requests regularly.  You’re hoping that when the new system is fully deployed many of those requests will go away.  Your staff will then be able to concentrate on other efforts.  However, if your organization runs parallel systems during an upgrade project, it’s likely that your IT staff’s workload will increase until the new system is fully deployed.  

Extended Training 

As defense contractors, you can take a page from your military customer’s handbook when it comes to training.  They believe that you should “train like you fight.” This means that training must align with operations to be effective. If you have two systems running at the same time, it may take longer for some workers to fully grasp all the features of the new system.   

You can avoid these higher costs and drawbacks by deploying SYMPAQ via the direct changeover method. A demo of the product can help you and your staff determine its ease of use out of the box. It can also uncover any needs for customizations that you’ll want to make before deploying the system enterprise-wide.   

References:
http://smallbusiness.chron.com/changeover-techniques-34890.html  http://smallbusiness.chron.com/accounting-information-system-conversion-methods-34569.html
https://bizfluent.com/info-12014696-two-disadvantages-parallel-conversion.html
https://medium.com/homeland-security/train-like-you-fight-and-fight-like-you-train-1787c0b78fde

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